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Grenada is a perfect Caribbean cruise hotspot, that is as vibrant and verdant as it is laid-back and varied. An abundantly gifted destination filled with natural splendor, Grenada features cacao, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger root plantations in abundance. The wonderful aromas swirl through the air creating an atmosphere of joy and serenity. The topography comprises waterfalls, rivers and lush forests. Apart from this, there are miles of breathtakingly beautiful beaches. There's a good amount of flora and fauna here for avid nature watchers, with everything from crater ponds to dense forests further adding towards the aura and glory of Grenada.
The area hosts 93,000 people, mostly of African descent. The weather is attractive and warm, with relatively low rain fall for that Caribbean. The local people are friendly and available to all vacationers, and also the island features an array of activities and sights. From diving to hiking, deep-ocean fishing to golf, Grenada has everything. Grenada's yacht clubs offer many sailing occasions each year and also the surrounding waters make sailing round the island a very enjoyable experience. Great courses and tennis courts are popping up constantly, along with the sports' growing recognition you're sure to look for a site that meets your requirements. The majority of Grenada features duty-free items, so stock on high-quality extra amenities for example perfume and jewelry for a cheap price.
St. George's, the main city, is the most inhabited and striking city around the island. It has one of the most wonderful chapels in the Caribbean region. In France they founded St. George's within the 1700s, and also the red tile ceilings and conventional, old worldly pastel-colored French architecture remain intact. This lends an unmistakable character to the entire city. St. George's hugs the perimeter from the island and edges Grenada's natural harbor. The landscape is green and spectacular, and going through the miracles of Grenada is only a must. Probably the most prominent landmark in St. George's may be the medieval tower. It had been created in the early 19th century and provides the town a quintessential European feeling.
Cruise lines calling Grenada include some of the best known operators in the Caribbean including Aida Cruise, Celebrity Cruises, Club Med Cruises, Cunard Line Ltd, EasyCruise, Fred. Olsen, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises USA, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Ocean Village Cruises, P&O Cruises, Carnival and Princess Cruises.
The Caribbean cruise season runs from October to April and during the 2005-2006 season Grenada attracted 225 ship calls and handled some 225,000 passengers. It is not uncommon for St George's to handle three or more vessels a day in high season, with up to 10,000 passengers coming ashore for shopping, sightseeing and leisure activities. Cruise ships continue to call intermittently outside the main season.
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships pier in the harbor in St. George's. Immediately upon arrival you will notice the wonder and variety of Grenada. Following the ship docks. For many years, cruise ships used to berth in St George's Harbour, one of the prettiest in the Caribbean. But this changed with the opening of the new terminal in 2005. Located on the western shoreline of the city, the new terminal offers much easier access to berths, while passengers can disembark closer to the city's main shopping areas as well as enjoying the delights of the duty free mall inside the terminal complex.
The beautiful Carenage area of St George's, just a 10-minute walk from the cruise terminal, is full of historical buildings and monuments. Most of St George's can be seen from the Carenage, although many buildings and churches still show signs of the hurricane damage caused by Ivan in 2004. Places not to be missed are the Market Square, Fort George, the Roman Catholic Cathedral and the Grenada National Museum.

Taxis will always be obtainable in Grenada. From St. George's to Grand Anse beach, the fare is usually $10. A visit from St. George's to suggest Salines can cost you $15. You are able to cruise along inside a water taxi should you so choose, and, for any mere $4, this efficient way of travel can hold you against St. George's towards the island's best beach, Grand Anse. St. George's is to will most likely spend nearly all your time and effort. Additionally to to be the docking location, it's the capital, while offering probably the most activities, sightseeing, and dining. Once you get yourself a local permit ($12 in the Central Police Station), you can rent a vehicle everywhere around the island. Typical costs are $55- $70 each day, and you're permitted limitless mileage. However, this isn't because an extravagance because it sounds, for that island is rather small, and gas is very costly.
Things To See and Do
In the far south of the Caribbean, gorgeous Grenada is known as "the Spice Island" for the fragrant nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and cocoa that flourish in its fertile volcanic soil. The nation of Grenada also includes the two smaller and quieter islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, northeast of the mainland. For travelers seeking an authentic Caribbean experience, Grenada offers a spicy mix of local culture and colonial roots as well as rainforests, lush mountains, colorful seaside villages, plantations, and beautiful beaches framed by frangipani and flamboyant trees.
St George's, Grenada's capital, is one of the prettiest cities in the Caribbean and is popular with yachters who dock in the busy harbor of Carenage. Many visitors spend their time around nearby Grand Anse Beach, but Grenada offers more than just golden sands. Waterfalls gush in the island's interior at Grand Etang National Park, and hiking trails thread through the lush rainforest while scenic Levera National Park boasts dramatic coastline vistas and coral reefs. Swimming, diving, snorkeling and fishing are all popular activities in Grenada's turquoise waters, and history buffs will enjoy exploring the country's forts and museums.
Renting a car is an excellent way to explore the island's plantation houses and distilleries. Watch sugar cane being crushed the old-fashioned way, by water-powered machinery, at the pungent River Antoine Rum Distillery in St. Andrew's. The idyllic Belmont Estate in the green hills of St. Patrick's is suffused with the scent of fermenting cocoa beans; learn how chocolate is made, and try cocoa tea. Stock up on spices to take home at St. George's Market Square.
Grand Anse Beach
Fringed by sea grapes and coconut palms, Grand Anse is Grenada's most famous beach and one of its most beautiful. Cruise ship visitors flock to this three-kilometer arc of golden sand and gentle surf, and many boutique resorts and restaurants lie along its shores. Water hues range from clear turquoise in the shallows to deep cobalt blue, and the calm waters are perfect for swimming. Midway along the beach, visitors will find the Grande Anse Craft and Spice Market while independent vendors patrol the sands hawking trinkets and souvenirs. Address: South of St. George's

St. George's
One of the prettiest port towns in the Caribbean, the capital city of St. George's curves along a horseshoe-shaped harbor backed by volcanic hills. This colorful capital is popular with yachters who dock in the busy harbor of Carenage. Brick and stone buildings with red tiled roofs line the streets where locals sell spices and crafts. One of the main attractions in the city is Fort George, built by the French in the early 18th century, and Fort Frederick offers beautiful views of St. George's. Housed in a 1704 French barracks and former prison, the Grenada National Museum displays a hodgepodge of historical items including Carib and Arawak artifacts and exhibits on the sugar and whaling industries. St. George's Market Square is home to the popular Saturday morning market as well as local events. Among the town's other attractions are the Sendall Tunnel, built in 1895, which joins the Carenage to the Esplanade, and the Bay Gardens with more than 3,000 species of Caribbean plants.
Fort Frederick
At the end of winding hairpin turns atop Richmond Hill, Fort Frederick offers stunning views of St. George's, residential areas, and the sea. Visitors will enjoy the fort's interesting history. The French began construction of Fort Frederick in 1779 and the British then completed it in 1791. It is nicknamed the "backwards facing fort" because its cannons face inland instead of out to sea thanks to the French who feared a surprise land attack after they used this successful strategy with the British. In 1850, the fort was abandoned completely until it was later occupied by the Grenadian military. Address: Richmond Hill, St. George's
Fort George
Built in 1705 by the French, Fort George lies on the promontory to the west of the harbor and is Grenada's oldest fort. It was built to protect the harbor, but the police force uses many of the buildings today. Much of the fort is still intact and open to visitors, although the main draw is the spectacular 360-degree view across the town's red-tiled roofs and church spires to the harbor and sea beyond. Address: Church St., St. George's

The inner harbor and anchorage, known as the Carenage, is a lovely place to wander along the waterfront, browse the shops, and watch the dockside activities. Wooden schooners are loaded and unloaded here and visitors can chat with the locals or relax at one of the restaurants selling fresh seafood and snacks. Wharf Road runs along the harbor offering great views of the area. Look for the bronze Christ of the Deep statue donated by the owners of a luxury liner in gratitude for local rescue efforts after the ship exploded off Grand Anse.
Morne Rouge Bay
One bay south of Grand Anse, near the southern tip of Grenada, Morne Rouge Bay is usually a quieter alternative to Grand Anse Beach. Calm jade-green seas slosh upon this one-and-a-half kilometer crescent of white sand making this a safe beach for swimming. Resort restaurants along the beach offer snacks, and the lush foliage fringing the beach provides plenty of shady areas to sit and relax. Address: Morne Rouge, St. George's

Grand Etang National Park & Forest Reserve
Home to a rich diversity of plants and animals, Grand Etang National Park, in the interior of the island, offers some beautiful rainforest scenery and rewarding hikes. One of the focal points of the park is the beautiful crater-formed Grand Etang Lake. From the Grand Etang visitor center, several trails lead through the park, ranging from the 30-minute self-guided Morne LaBaye Trail with many specimens of native plants to the more challenging Concord Falls Trail, which passes a trio of cascades with swimming areas. Other popular hikes include the Shoreline Trail around the Grand Etang Lake, the Seven Sisters Falls hike, and the Mount Qua Qua Trail, a three-hour uphill trek with views over the forest. Along the trails visitors can spot many species of birds, orchids, and towering rainforest trees.Address: St. Andrew

Levera National Park
On the northeastern shore of the island, Levera National Park offers some dramatic scenery where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic. Backed by cliff walls, coral-sand Bathways Beach boasts views of Sugar Loaf (Levera Island) and other islands in the distance while a natural offshore reef affords good protection for swimming. Also of interest in the park is Levera Pond, a water-filled, ancient volcanic crater, and a Bird-Watch Bridge which extends into a mangrove area. A visitor center lies at the entrance to the park. Admission is free Address: Levera, St. Patrick
Annandale Falls
In the mountains north of St. George's, Annandale Falls is a 10-meter waterfall plunging to a pool tucked in tropical foliage. The short trail to the falls begins at the Annandale Falls Centre. Visitors can swim at the base of the cascades and watch local divers leaping into the water from the top. Change rooms are also available here. Be prepared for locals hawking souvenirs. Address: Annandale, St. George

Underwater Sculpture Park
On the west coast of Grenada, a short drive north of St. George's at Moliniere Bay, the Underwater Sculpture Park is a unique submerged gallery that also serves as an artificial reef in a Marine Protected Area. Created by artist Jason de Caires Taylor, the sculptures range from Amerindian petroglyphs to life size figures cast from local children. Divers, snorkelers, and glass bottom boat passengers can admire this underwater exhibition, although the best views are face to face with these sculptures below sea level.
Address: Moliniere Bay, St. George's, Official site: http://grenadaunderwatersculpture.com/
Dougaldston Spice Estate
One of Grenada's oldest and largest nutmeg plantations, Dougaldston Spice Estate is a rustic operation where local workers demonstrate how the island's spices are grown and processed. Visitors can also buy bags of nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves. Near the Dougaldston Spice Estate is the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station, the largest facility on the island, where workers sort and pack nutmeg and share interesting facts about Grenada's famous spice. Tours are open to the public. Address: Gouyave, St. John

La Sagesse Nature Centre
La Sagesse Nature Centre, located on the Atlantic side of the island, is on the former estate of Lord Brownlow, Queen Elizabeth's cousin. His beachside residence has been renovated and turned into a romantic inn fronting a golden sand beach with great swimming in the protected bay. Nature trails in the area lead up through the windswept hills and provide pretty views over the ocean. The area is also great for birding. Many avian species make their home in the area's scrub forests, mangroves, and salt ponds.
Address: La Sagesse Bay, Official site: http://www.lasagesse.com/
Known as the "Land of Reefs", the island of Carriacou (carry-a-cou), northeast of Grenada, offers visitors a pleasing taste of the old Caribbean. Both white and black sand beaches fringe the coast, and coral reefs lie offshore with great opportunities for diving and snorkeling. Nearby Sandy Island, in a Marine Protected Area, is also excellent for snorkeling. The island has a number of small villages but the main population center is Hillsborough. The Carriacou Museum here displays Carib, European, and African artifacts, and the island offers several hiking trails. Visitors can access Carriacou via high-speed ferry from St. George's Carenage or flights from Grenada's Point Saline International Airport.Official site: http://grenadagrenadines.com/about-the-islands/discover-carriacou/

Petite Martinique
Five kilometers northeast of Carriacou, Petite Martinique is even quieter than its neighbor and equally beautiful. Fishing is the mainstay of this tiny island, and visitors can watch the locals haul in their catch or stroll along the beaches and chat with boat builders as they work. This is truly an island getaway with few tourist facilities except a couple of guesthouses and family-run restaurants, but visitors will find plenty of local color. Many yachters stop here to dine at one of the island's excellent restaurants. From Carriacou, visitors can catch a ferry across to the island. Official site: http://www.petitemartinique.com/
Some visitors never leave the sugary sands of Grand Anse, the two-mile stretch of beach near St. George's, which has watersports, craft vendors, and ice cream. La Sagesse has a tranquil olive-green horseshoe cove, and at Magazine Beach flickering schools of silver fish reward beachside snorkelers -- both beaches have good restaurants. In the northeast, where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean, wild Levera is often deserted and fronts a miniature offshore cay, the moss-backed, cone-shaped Sugar Island.
Grenada's shoreline is really magnificent the island warrants a trip for that beaches alone. It so happens, there is available a bounty of other wonderful activities too. The best beach here is the Grand Anse. With two miles of whitened sand beach as well as a secluded bay, this site is really a visual masterpiece. An excellent location for the whole family, Grand Anse is fantastic for wading, swimming, scuba diving, and diving. It's protected from winds and power, adding even more towards the allure of Grand Anse. Horseshoe Beach is yet another of Grenada's treasures. It's a tranquil and apparently untouched atmosphere. Great hiking sites are nearby too.
The best of Grenada's 45 beaches are in the southwestern part of the island. The granddaddy of them all is Grand Anse Beach, 3km (2 miles) of sugar-white sand fronting a sheltered bay. This beach is really the stuff of dreams -- it's no surprise that many of the major resort hotels are here. A lot of visitors never leave this part of the island. Protected from strong winds and currents, the waters here are relatively safe, making Grand Anse a family favorite. The clear, gentle waters are populated with schools of rainbow-hued fish. Palms and sea-grape trees offer shade. Watersports concessions include water-skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, and scuba diving; vendors peddle coral jewelry, local crafts, and the inevitable T-shirts.
The beach at Morne Rouge Bay is less popular but just as nice, with white sands bordering clear waters. Morne Rouge, noted for its calm waters and some of the best snorkeling in Grenada, is about 2km (1 1/4 miles) south of Grand Anse Bay.
Pink Gin Beach lies near the airport at Point Salinas. This is also a white-sand beach with clear waters, ideal for swimming and snorkeling. (No one seems to know why it's called Pink Gin Beach.) You can find a restaurant and kayak rentals here.
Also on Grenada's southern coast, La Sagesse Beach is part of La Sagesse nature center. This strip of gray-and-black volcanic sand is a lovely, tranquil area; between sojourns on the beach, you can go for walks through the nearby countryside. A small restaurant, set beneath a veranda-style roof, opens onto the beach.
If you like your waters more turbulent, visit the dramatic Pearl's Beach, north of Grenville on the Atlantic coast. The light-gray sand stretches for miles and is lined with palm trees. You'll practically have the beach to yourself.
Part of Levera National Park, Levera Beach, at the northeastern tip of the island, is one of the most beautiful on Grenada. Its sands front the Atlantic, which usually means rough waters. Many locals come here for Sunday picnics.
Diving and Scuba diving
Grenada is famous for getting the best beaches for diving and scuba diving on the planet. To find the best in diving and scuba diving adventure contact Aquanauts. A PADI instructor is definitely present, and also the dives they offer are unmatched. You are able to dive deep to the foot of the sea and find out historic shipwrecks, slither interior and exterior barrier reefs, and go swimming among the enchanting variety of ocean life.Beaches
Deep-Sea Fishing
Fishers visit from November to March in pursuit of both blue and white marlin, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, sailfish, and more. Most of the bigger hotels have a sports desk that arranges fishing trips. The Spice Island BillFish Tournament, held in January, attracts a number of regional and international participants. For more information, call Chairman Richard McIntyre (tel. 473/440-3753 or 415-0157; www.sibtgrenada.com).
At the Grenada Golf Country Club, Woodlands (tel. 473/444-4128), you can tee off on a 9-hole course with views of both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic. Greens fees are only $23 for 9 holes, or $33 if you want to play it twice (to get 18 holes). Hours are Monday to Saturday 7:30am to 9pm.
Grenada's lushness and beauty make it one of the best Caribbean islands for hiking. If you have time for only one hike here, schedule it for points within the Grand Etang National Park and Forest Preserve ? (tel. 473/440-6160). Its sheer scenic beauty makes the Lake Circle Trail our top choice on the island. The trail follows a 60-minute circuit along Grand Etang Lake, the crater of an extinct volcano, amid a forest preserve and bird sanctuary. You're likely to see the yellow-billed cuckoo and the emerald-throated hummingbird. The park is also a playground for Mona monkeys. Another easy hike, the Morne LeBaye Trail, originates at the park's center. The 15-minute trek affords a view of the 710m (2,329-ft.) Mount Sinai and the east coast. Of course, you can take longer hikes, perhaps to the peak of Mount Qua Qua at 712m (2,336 ft.), a trek which, round-trip, takes 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Carry insect repellent and plenty of water, and remember that trails can be slippery after a rainfall (especially June-Nov), so wear good hiking shoes and bring a sense of humor.
You can hike the shorter trails independently, but you might wish to hire a guide for the ascent to Mount Qua Qua or the even more demanding hike to Mount Catherine, at 827m (2,713 ft.). The former costs $25 per person for a 4-hour hike, while the latter is $35. For information, call Telfor Bedeau Hiking Tours (tel. 473/442-6200). Good hiking trails can also be found at Levera National Park.
Two large party boats, designed for 120 and 250 passengers, operate out of St. George's Harbour. The Rhum Runner and Rhum Runner II, c/o Best of Grenada, P.O. Box 188, St. George's, Grenada, W.I. (tel. 473/440-4386), make one to three trips daily, depending on the season, with lots of emphasis on liquor, steel-band music, and good times. Conducted every morning and afternoon, the 3-hour tours coincide with the arrival of cruise ships and, as such, tend to be packed with passengers, but independent travelers are welcome if space is available. Depending on advance bookings, evening tours on Friday and Saturday from 7:30pm to midnight are much more frequently attended by island locals and are more bare-boned, louder, and usually less restrained. The cost is $15 per person.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Grenada provides divers with submarine gardens, exotic fish, and coral formations, sometimes with visibility stretching to 36m (118 ft.). Off the coast is the wreck of the ocean liner Bianca C, which is nearly 180m (591 ft.) long. Novice divers can stick to the west coast of Grenada, while more experienced divers might search out sights along the rougher Atlantic side.
Aquanauts, in the True Blue Bay, Grand Anse Beach (tel. 473/444-1126; www.aquanautsgrenada.com), has night dives or two-tank dives for $55 to $95, respectively; PADI instructors offer an open-water certification program for $460 per person. They also offer snorkeling trips (1 1/2-2 hr.) for $26. You can rent snorkel gear as well, even if you don't take the boat ride. Giving Aquanuts serious competition is affable Eco-Dive, at the Coyaba Beach Resort on Grand Anse Beach (tel. 473/444-7777; www.ecodiveandtrek.com). There's a PADI instructor on-site, and the dive boat is well equipped. Both scuba diving and snorkeling jaunts to panoramic reefs and shipwrecks teeming with marine life are offered. A single dive costs $50, and a five-dive package $225. A snorkeling trip can be arranged for $36. Diving instruction, including a resort course, is available. Dive Grenada, Flamboyant Hotel, Grande Anse Beach (tel. 473/444-1092; www.divegrenada.com), offers dives daily at 10am and 2pm, costing $50 for a one-tank dive and $95 for a two-tank dive. Snorkeling trips are also available for $35. The organization sank two rusted, terminally aged ships offshore as a catalyst for the creation of some underwater reefs.
If you'd rather strike out on your own, drive to Woburn and negotiate with a fisher for a ride to Glovers Island, an old whaling station, and snorkel away. Glovers Island is an uninhabited rock spit a few hundred yards offshore from the hamlet of Woburn.
Most big resorts have tennis courts. There are public courts, as well, both at Grand Anse and in Tanteen in St. George's.
Yacht Charters
Grenada is increasingly known for the number and size of its yacht regatta. As such, the island is home to yacht-racing events throughout the year, including the Port Louis Grenada Sailing Festival in late January (www.grenadasailingfestival.com), the Easter Round-the-Island Regatta (www.aroundgrenada.com), and the Carriacou Regatta Festival in late July (www.carriacouregatta.com).
If you'd like to sail the waters yourself, Horizon Yacht Charters at True Blue Resort, Old Mill Road, True Blue (tel. 473/439-1000; www.horizonyachtcharters.com), specializes in bareboat or crewed charters, including 3-day trips to the Grenadines, arguably the best sailing waters in the Caribbean. Daily rates begin at $371, weekly rates at $2,395.
Eating Out
Grenada's national dish is the "oil down": meat and vegetables lovingly simmered in spices and coconut milk over a fire in one enormous pot. Savory stuffed crabs and hot roti (filled pancakes) are mouth-watering island specialties. Don't miss the nutmeg ice cream at the Aquarium, a laid-back treat under the palms on beautiful Magazine Beach. Make friends over an icy Carib beer -- but if you really want to get the party started, order a colorful rum punch.
Site visitors to Grenada have been in for any real treat if this involves fine dining. Canboulay combines Caribbean colonial style having a West Indian formality. Providing the most exotic food around the island, a few of the faves include blackened chicken, succulent steak, and fresh seafood. Rudolf's is a superb bang for your buck. The rum drinks are perfect, and also the menu is easily the most extensive in Grenada. Probably the most visited nightclub is Fantazia 2001, in the Jewel Holiday Beach Resort. It's air-conditioned, has incredible lights and seem products, and each Friday and Saturday evening frequency higher live music being performed.
Regular evening entertainment is provided by the resort hotels and includes steel bands, calypso, reggae, folk dancing, and limbo -- even crab racing. Ask at your hotel desk to find out what's happening at the time of your visit.
The island's most popular nightspot is Fantazia 2001, Morne Rouge Beach (tel. 473/444-2288; http://fantazia2001niteclub.com). Although it gets progressively rougher as the evening progresses, it's air-conditioned, with state-of-the-art equipment, good acoustics, and fantastic lights, and plays the best in regional and international sounds. There are live shows Saturday. The cover ranges from $5 to $8.
Just as fun and a bit less gratuitously rowdy is Club Banana, True Blue, St. George's (tel. 473/444-4662), down by the marina. Every Friday and Saturday night, it operates a disco from 10:30pm to 4am, charging a cover of $8. Some visitors have proclaimed Club Banana as the best nightlife hangout on the island.
The Beachside Terrace and the Owl Sports Pub, both at the Flamboyant Hotel, Grand Anse (tel. 473/444-4247), have an amicable and sometimes boisterous clientele, a pair of pool tables, two wide-screen TVs, and a penchant for broadcasting cricket or soccer matches. They're the site of the island's longest happy hour (daily 4-7pm and again 11pm-midnight), during which prices are reduced by about 40%. Karaoke is featured Thursday and Friday nights beginning around 8:30pm. Full meals, including American burgers and Caribbean-style curries, are served in the Beachside Terrace daily from noon to 10:30pm.
Another favorite is Aquarium Beach Club & Restaurant at Point Salines (tel. 473/444-1410), which also serves delectable steaks, with a special reputation for its Sunday barbecue specials. From the sprawl of decks open to the trade winds, you can enjoy the lights of St. George's Harbour here at night.
For those seeking culture, the 250-seat Marryshow Folk Theatre, Herbert Blaize Street near Bain Alley, St. George's (tel. 473/440-2385), offers performances of Grenadian, American, and European folk music; drama; and West Indian interpretative folk dance. Tickets usually cost $12.
Arawak Islands in St. George's is a superb place to buy both practical and luxury products. Here you'll find the very best insect repellent around the island, in addition to fabulous fragrances and aftershaves and exotic teas from local plants. Other popular products provided by Arawak are nutmeg perfumed cleaning soap and potpourri. Tikal on Youthful Street in St. George's, features fabulous handcrafts, ceramics, works of art, wood designs and carvings, and clothing.
Everybody who visits Grenada goes home with a basket of spices, better than any you're likely to find in your local supermarket. Vendors will besiege you wherever you go. Their hand-woven panniers of palm leaf or straw are full of items grown on the island, including the inevitable nutmeg, as well as mace, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, vanilla, and ginger.
If you like to attend Caribbean markets as much as we do, head for Market Square, at the foot of Young Street in St. George's. The market is at its liveliest on Saturday morning but is also open Monday to Friday. It's best to go between 8am and noon. An array of handicrafts is for sale, but fresh spices are more plentiful.
For something really special, visit Arawak Islands Ltd., Upper Belmont Road, in St. George's (tel. 473/444-3577; www.arawak-islands.com), founded in 1986 by Angelia Clements, a German woman. From the raw materials of Grenada, especially nutmeg and cinnamon, she manufactures delectable tropical perfumes and toiletries. The company is committed to natural products and minimal processing, and sells some items purchased from island companies and packaged here at the workshop.
If it's upscale, breezy, and insouciant resort wear you're looking to acquire, consider the twin retail outlets Gatsby Male and Gatsby Female (tel. 473/444-4258), both of which lie a few steps from one another within the forecourt arcade of the previously recommended Spice Island Inn, on Grand Anse Beach. Inventories here include resort wear and bathing suits by Gottex, La Perla, and Paul & Shark.
Two crafts markets, which can be either bountiful sources of island crafts or sweaty, dusty repositories of things you'll eventually discard, include the Spiceland Mall, a 19-shop emporium on Grand Anse Beach, and the Grand Anse Vendor Market (tel. 473/439-6450), also on Grand Anse Beach, wherein 80 vendors of spices, woodcarvings, batiks, and T-shirts are assembled into one intensely mercantile place.
Tikal, Young Street, St. George's (tel. 473/440-2310), is the best place to shop for regional art. Its matriarch and founder is grande dame Jeanne Fisher, an American expat who founded this shop in 1959. About 85% of the paintings on display are by Grenadians, some of them untutored, others the product of formal training. There's also a variety of arts and crafts from Mexico and Latin America.
The merchandise at Art Fabrik, Young Street, St. George's (tel. 473/440-0568), is quirky and eccentric and, in most cases, very appealing -- quite simply, the finest and most comprehensive collection of island-made batiks in Grenada. Garments made from this ancient Indonesian dyeing technique tend to be airy, breathable, and appropriate for resort wear. There's an array of dresses and shirts for men and women, as well as table linens whose random patterns evoke the airy spontaneity of the islands.

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